All too often people approach marketing to Millennials with a one-size-fits-all strategy. However, when you take a look at this new-age generation, it’s clear that they are not all the same. Considering their ages range from 18 to 34 (give or take, depending on the source), there are a lot of different mindsets and a lot of varying life stages they are going through. The better bet, as backed by research from Epsilon, is to consider life stages when marketing to Millennials.
Before we delve into the life stages to look at when marketing to Millennials, it’s important to note that not every Millennial will follow these stages in the same order. Heck, they may not even hit some of them at all. But in general, Millennials will experience each of these life stages along their journey as your customer:
All Grown Up
This is usually the first stage to think about when marketing to Millennials. These individuals are out on their own for the first time and are solely responsible for their own expenses. This life stage has a huge presence on Facebook (47% of them have been active within the past week), and their purchase decisions are greatly influenced by their friends’ opinions. They spend a lot of their money on apparel and home décor (29% and 17%, respectively), and they are socially aware and love supporting good causes.
Back at Home
In today’s world, a college education doesn’t necessarily mean landing a job, which causes a lot of Millennials to head back home while they save up some money and pay off their student loans. While this life stage is typically achieved after college, the back at home group can also include those Millennials that never left their parents’ home in the first place—which is becoming a lot more commonplace. Since this group doesn’t have to spend money on rent and other housing expenses, they usually have more discretionary income than their on-their-own counterparts. While they love the Internet for gaming and social media, they spend the majority of their income (41%) on clothing and accessories.
Heading Down the Aisle
The next life stage to consider when marketing to Millennials is getting married. While Millennials are getting married later than previous generations (usually in their late twenties), a full third of Millennials between the ages of 25 and 33 can be found in this life stage. Most married Millennials have greater savings and a higher discretionary income than their single friends, and they choose to spend an average of 13% of it on home décor and furnishings.
And Baby Makes Three
Not surprisingly, when a Millennial has a kid, they switch up their spending to kid-centric products, such as toys, books, and children’s clothing. When marketing to Millennials in this life stage, it’s good to remember that they will dramatically cut back on their own clothing and beauty items, but oftentimes they do purchase more outdoor recreation items—probably to help build those lasting family memories. So how many Millennials are actually in this stage? When it comes to the older Millennials (ages 25-33), 22% of them grow their families, while only nine-percent of the younger Millennials reach this stage.
Building Up the Equity
Once school is over, careers begin to bloom, and families are created, many Millennials are purchasing homes (albeit, they are normally in the higher age range). Even though it took some time to get to this life stage due to higher school loans, costs of living, and more stringent mortgage qualifications, it is still a huge deal for them. When marketing to Millennials, it’s crucial to remember that homeowners in the Millennial generation are spending a decent chunk of their change on items to make their homes look better, and they also like nice cars and clothes to match.
Independent and Unattached
As common as the path of college, marriage, babies, and homes is in the Millennial generation, there is also a large number of Millennials going against the grain. They are choosing to stay single and kid-free. The key thing to remember when marketing to Millennials in this life stage is that they usually spend more on a single purchase than the other Millennials; however, their discretionary income is often smaller since they have lower incomes (almost 50% less than married Millennials) and they have to pay all of their bills singlehandedly. Also worth noting is the fact that most single Millennials rent instead of buy, and they have probably moved recently.
One look at these life stages and it’s easy to see just how different Millennials can be. So when you are marketing to Millennials, you have to approach each person as the individual that they are. By focusing on life stages instead of ages and/or the generation as a whole, you will have a much more effective marketing strategy in place. And if you do it right, you can attract the Millennials while they are young, and then keep them with you as they progress through the stages. For help marketing to Millennials the right way, contact Rebel Interactive Group now.